Hunger & Hormones! The Musical (now with tap dancing sailors)
Food is an altogether different experience when you’re pregnant. I wake up with immense ravishing nauseating hunger unlike I’ve ever experienced before and I’ve never been a shy eater. I am also not in control of my menu. I wake up knowing I must have eggs. I know that I must eat spaghetti bolognese for dinner - whatever the delectable and varied choices on the menu and ones that I would normally go for, such as ravioli ripieni con crema di gorgonzola e noci, tagliatelle ai porcini e tartufo any my favourite pasta - cacio e pepe! Il re! The decision had been made before I even went to the restaurant - an inner voice that tugged at me and commanded that I go to an Italian restaurant, that I have pasta and that I order the bolognese. If a food comes to my mind, I need it right away, as if I was privy to an epiphany for a noble mission.
Digestion also flipped a switch with me. The burping I could handle as unladylike as it was - I had no teas scheduled with the Queen. However, the constant companion of constipation caused me some misery. I had always had very punctual and efficient bowels and now these fuckers just hung up a “closed” sign and went on a backpacking holiday around South America leaving me in the lurch. When my husband at first suggested Metamucil, I rolled my eyes and held my hose high, immediately conjuring the commercials of middle aged people taking long walks in the sunset wearing suspicious smirks. However,
I was soon shuffling with head lowered and my tail and then some between my legs to my new saviour. Now we’re best buddies and I haven’t looked back.
Dreams are wacky when you’re pregnant. I’ve always had vivid dreams, but being prego takes it to a whole new level. It’s not so much the dreams themselves, but their affective power - you wake up and you feel as if you are still entangled in the web of your dreams. One morning I woke up crying because I dreamt that a doctor with a bleeding head (not by obstetrician) was delivering me and telling me I couldn’t have natural labour and I would have to have a cesarean, but when he got out his knife and I looked at my stomach, the whole thing just deflated and I started screaming, asking where my baby went. He then cut me open but there was nothing to set free. In consolation, the hospital gave me a manicure. When I woke up, I burst into tears not seeing any humour in the absurdity and woke up my husband, who then had to console me as I continued to be a blubbering mess garbling questions such “how do we know the baby is all safe in there?”, “how do we know we won’t have a stillbirth?” and other like questions until my husband arrested my thought process by asking me whether the hospital had given me a good manicure. I thought about it. I couldn’t lie - they did a pretty good job. Feeling guilty that I liked the manicure (and here I must point out that I almost never get my nails done and in lieu take care of them through a rigid process of neglect save for regular chewing), I burst into tears all over again. I would continually burst into tears that day, thinking of my dream - which brings me to the our next topic.
Hormones! Show me a peanut and I will cry. Never a bastion of calm before pregnancy, I am now an active volcano, stirring all sorts of emotional seismic activity. I have been cuddling with my husband one moment and then shouting at him the next, although, at least thankfully for me, since my memory has also gone kaput, I have no idea what for and am blissfully unaware of the episode the next moment, baffled my husband’s flummoxed expression. Mainly, I cry a lot. My husband can make an obviously sarcastic comment and I will burst into tears. I am a constant cryer throughout any film in which scenes do not involve happy people singing and holding hands. Sometimes, I will burst into tears and have absolutely no rhyme nor reason why. The joy of hormones!